Emirates president: Americans are being fed a distorted view of the Open Skies agreement

James Burnley’s July 22 OpEd – “It’s time to defend US airlines and workers”– was the latest chapter in a longstanding misinformation campaign driven by the Big 3 U.S. carriers (including Mr. Burnley’s client, American Airlines).

The Big 3’s goal is to preserve their domination of the U.S. long-haul market by pulling out of America’s longstanding and mutually beneficial Open Skies trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates, and blocking Emirates and others from serving America. 

As Mr. Burnley noted in his article, Open Skies agreements have provided great benefits to the U.S. airlines, their workers and, most importantly, the American traveling public. That is certainly true in the case of Emirates.

Last year, Emirates supported more than 104,000 American jobs and contributed $21.3 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy. We brought hundreds of thousands of new travelers to the United States and helped increase competitive air transport options for more than 1 million American and international travelers who flew with us – generating $3.2 billion of new trade-based revenue for the U.S. We are also the world’s largest purchaser of U.S.-built Boeing aircraft and a primary reason the U.S. enjoys a $19 billion trade surplus with the UAE.

We have been very clear about the fact that Emirates competes on a commercial basis and does not receive subsidies. Mr. Burnley’s article referred to the Big 3’s self-published and inaccurate report on the finances of Emirates and other competitors without…

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